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Data from: Genomics of end-Pleistocene population replacement in a small mammal

Cite this dataset

Kotlik, Petr et al. (2018). Data from: Genomics of end-Pleistocene population replacement in a small mammal [Dataset]. Dryad.


Current species’ distributions at high latitudes are the product of expansion from glacial refugia into previously uninhabitable areas at the end of the last glaciation. The traditional view of postglacial colonization is that southern populations expanded their ranges into unoccupied northern territories. Recent findings on mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) of British small mammals have challenged this simple colonization scenario by demonstrating a more complex genetic turnover in Britain during the Pleistocene-Holocene transition where one mtDNA clade of each species was replaced by another mtDNA clade of the same species. Here, we provide evidence for one of those small mammals, the bank vole (Clethrionomys glareolus), that the replacement was genome-wide. Using more than 10,000 autosomal SNPs we found that similar to mtDNA, bank vole genomes in Britain form two (north and south) clusters which admix. Therefore, the genome of the original post-glacial colonists (the northern cluster) was likely replaced by another wave of migration from a different continental European population (the southern cluster), and we gained support for this by modelling with approximate Bayesian computation. This finding emphasises the importance of analysis of genome-wide diversity within species under changing climate in creating opportunities for sophisticated testing of population history scenarios.

Usage notes


Great Britain
continental Europe